Jeff grew up boating with his family in the San Juan and BC waters. His parents instilled a love of the boating lifestyle as well as an impeccable work ethic in him. Jeff remembers most of his weekends growing up working on the boat in the boatyard in La Conner or out on the water.
I did not grow up in the boating community, I did however spend almost every weekend around the water as a competitive swimmer. As I got older we would go camping with friends who had ski boats and were always letting the kids help drive the boat to the docks. When I met Jeff I had no clue what the bottom of the boat was called, but i knew that I loved going up to the boat and hanging out. I loved going up to Desolation Sound for the first time, and I knew that this was going to be a very big part of our way of life.
When we started talking about going around the world we thought we would powerboat, but after looking at the costs of a boat that could make the journey and the fuel costs we concluded that was just not feasible for our budget. We knew we still wanted to pursue this dream so we decided to start kicking around the idea of sailing! This option was definitely much more budget friendly but we had no clue how to sail. The only sailing experience we had was a few hobie rentals and a ride or two on a friends day sailer on Camano Island. Our very next date we decided to head down to Seattle and take a sailing lesson. The lesson, given by a high school girl, was great! Jeff and I both were able to really get a good grasp on the very basic terminology, and got a feel for the wind. This cemented the fact that we were going to sail with our kids around the world!
After that first sailing lesson we began looking for a boat that would not only make the journey, but that would also be comfortable for our growing family. We when back and forth, do we buy a smaller boat to learn on or do we jump in with the big boat that we will eventually make the trip in? A year went by and we had made offers on a big boat as well as a small boat but they never worked out for both us or the sellers, so we kept looking. We had developed a good relationship with the owner of a Cal 40 that was in the yard in La Conner and had made an offer on his boat but it wasn't what he was looking to get out of it at the time.
Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue he emailed us asking if we were still interested in his Cal and that he was ready to sell and he wanted us to have it! Jeff and I could hardly contain our excitement! But what was he going to ask for it? We had been on a mission to pay our house off and were almost about to get our PMI removed, could we do both? YES! I was able to call our mortgage company and they chose to remove our PMI early without an appraisal, and the owner of the Cal was asking less than we had offered last year! We were able to go though our house and garage and craigslist a bunch of stuff plus some savings and we had our boat money!! We met up with the owner and signed papers that next Monday (this past Monday!!).
It has been such a surreal feeling to know that we are now sailboat owners and that our dream truly is becoming a reality!